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Film / The Mountie

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The Mountie (a.k.a. The Way of the West a.k.a. The Ranger a.k.a. Lawman) is a 2011 Canadian Western film directed by S. Wyeth Clarkson, co-written by Clarkson, Charles Johnston, and Grant Sauvé, and starring Andrew Walker, Jessica Paré, Earl Pastko, and George Buza.

In 1894, Wade Grayling, an officer of the North-West Mounted Police, arrives in a remote and lawless settlement in the Yukon territory. As he faces his guilt over his past that led to his disgrace in a Chinese opium den the previous year, Grayling finds himself facing off against a ruthless band of Russian and American criminals.

Tropes used in The Mountie include:

  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: By holding Cleora at gunpoint, Pachek forces Grayling to reveal himself and drop his weapon. Pachek levels his gun at Grayling and starts squeezing the trigger. A shot rings out. And Pachek falls dead as the camera pans to reveal that Robert Johnson has arrived just in time to save Grayling's life.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: One flashback has Grayling breaking up a Chinese dog fighting ring: an encounter that quickly turns into a shootout.
  • Blast Out: Sergeant Grayling's attempt to shut down an illegal dog fighting ring quickly turns it a shootout that he barely survives.
  • Blemished Beauty: The beautiful Amethyst deliberately scarred the left side of her face so men would not find her attractive anymore. She spends much of the film with the left side of her face covered by a scarf.
  • Death of a Child: During a raid, Grayling accidentally shot and killed a young girl. It is this event that leads to him being Reassigned to Antarctica.
  • Determinator: Grayling may be seen as a colossal screw-up in the eyes of his fellow Mounties, but he nevertheless shares this with them.
    Cleora (narrating): In the book of the Mounties, the word "failure" doesn't exists.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Posthumous Character Grayling and Cleroa retrieve from a tree at the start of the film, and whose murder becomes a driving force for Grayling, is only known to the locals as 'the Mountain Man'.
  • Fake in the Hole: Graylng panics the Cossacks by tying Nikolai to a horse and sending him into the camp with fake sticks of dynamite attached to a slow fuse strapped to his chest.
  • Foreshadowing: When Grayling first meets Cleora, she is attempting to shoot down the body of the mountain man, which is hanging from a tree branch. He takes the rifle from and uses it to Shoot the Rope, cutting the mountain man down. Later, Cleora will save Grayling from being lynched by performing a similar stunt.
  • Hat of Authority: Along with his scarlet tunic, Corporal Grayling wears the distinctive 'lemon-squeezer' hat of the Mounties as a symbol of his authority. Although it is badly battered, he is very attached to the hat, and takes care to retrieve it after he uses it as an Outfit Decoy. At the end of the film, he rides back into Merci sporting a spiffy new Mountie hat, to go with the reinstated sergeant's stripes on his sleeve.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Corporal Grayling steals Nikolai's horse after being forced to shoot his own. He keeps the horse for the rest of the film.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Pacheck holding a Sawn-Off Shotgun to Cleora's head and using her as a Human Shield as he calls on Corporal Grayling to surrender. The movie then flashes back, with occasional narration from Cleora, to explain what is going on and how everyone ended up in this situation.
  • Human Shield: The movie opens In Medias Res with Pachek using Cleora as a human shield and demanding that Grayling reveal himself.
  • Husky Russkie: Nikolai is the largest of the Cossacks, and acts as enforcer for the gang.
  • Illegal Gambling Den: In flashback, Sergeant Greyling is shown breaking up an illegal gambling den that stages dog fights.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When Corporal Grayling arrives in the settlement for the final showdown, the Cossacks unload at him from the front steps of the church along the length of the main street without any of the their shots coming anywhere near him; despite Grayling standing still without any cover.
  • Instant Marksman: Just Squeeze Trigger!: This happens when Grayling is teaching Cleora how to shoot. Her first shot misses the target by about a foot. After showing her how to squeeze, her next shot hits.
  • Job Title: Both "The Mountie" and (depending on the market the film was released) "Lawman" both refer to Corporal Grayling's job as a Mounted Police officer.
  • Mark of Shame: Following her debasement on the voyage to Canada, Amethyst deliberately scarred her face so that no man would ever find her attractive again.
  • Mountain Man: The Posthumous Character known only as 'the Mountain Man'. Grayling eventually learns that it was what the Mountain Man had discovered on his expeditions into the mountains that got him killed.
  • My Greatest Failure: During a raid on a Chinese gambling den, Sergeant Grayling accidentally shot and killed a young girl. This causes him to turn to opium, earns him a year in the stockade, and gets him demoted and Reassigned to Antarctica. He treats his transfer as an opportunity to redeem himself.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Corporal Grayling is sent out to clean up the settlement of Merci, and establish a permanent Mountie post, by himself.
  • Opium Den: After accidentally killing a child, Grayling became an opium addict.
  • Outfit Decoy: Grayling leaves his hat hanging on a bush as a decoy for Nikolai. When Nikolai stops to examine it, Grayling sneak attacks him and knocks him out. And then puts the hat back on.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: During their final showdown, both Olaf and Grayling are drawing guns from their waistbands: Olaf is going for his holdout weapon, and Grayling had lost his holster earlier.
  • Perverted Sniffing: While searching Amethyst's tent, Damoslav sniffs her underwear.
  • Person with the Clothing: The criminals contemptuously refer to Corporal Grayling as "Red Coat". Not that it particularly bothers Grayling. He is proud to wear the scarlet tunic of the Mounted Police.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Nikolai knocks out Grayling by butt-stroking him with a rifle as Grayling is trying to sneak up on the Cossack camp.
  • Posthumous Character: The Mountain Man. Corporal Grayling discovers Cleora attempting to retrieve his body from a tree as he is riding towards the camp. Grayling helps recover it and bring it back to camp. Finding out who the Mountain Man was and why is killed becomes a big part of Grayling's effort to stamp out corruption and bring law to the region.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After accidentally killing a child during a raid, Grayling is sent to an extremely remote posting in the Yukon to establish a permanent Mountie post.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Pachek's weapon of choice. The first shot of the movie is Pachek clapping it to Cleora's head and demanding that Grayling reveal himself.
  • Scenery Porn: The film contains many spectacular panoramas of the beautiful Yukon wilderness.
  • Shoot the Dog: Grayling has to shot the brave horse who saved him from a lynching when it breaks its leg during the escape.
  • Shoot the Rope: When Grayling first meets Cleora, she is attempting to shoot the body of the mountain man down from a tree. Grayling takes the rifle off her and shoots through the rope with a single shot. Later, Cleora saves Grayling from being lynched by shooting the rope.
  • Sinister Minister: Olaf, the Orthodox priest and most powerful figure in the settlement of Merci, is in league with Cossack criminals, and part of the opium ring.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Grayling shows himself to be very adept at this. At one point, he vanishes during the middle of a firefight.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: Grayling ties Nikolai to a horse and sends him into the camp with sticks of dynamite strapped to his body with a slow fuse burning. This induces considerable panic among the bad guys and, by the time they discover the dynamite is fake, Grayling has had an opportunity to wreak all kinds of havoc on the camp with real dynamite.
  • Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: After being raped on the ship to Canada, Amethyst scarred her own face so men would not find her attractive any more
  • Would Hurt a Child: None of the bad guys have any problem with hitting Cleora, or using her as a Human Shield. And Amethyst tells Grayling how Olaf threw her newborn child overboard on the voyage over because he could stand the shame of her bearing a Cossack baby.